Author Topic: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?  (Read 14378 times)

KBecks

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Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« on: March 16, 2014, 05:32:47 AM »
Hi Mustachians,

So we have 34 light bulbs in the rooms that we use all the time.  Most of these currently have compact fluorescent light bulbs. 

Would we have significant energy savings if we switch to these LED light bulbs?

Should I replace the light bulbs as they wear out, or would it save more money to change them over before they wear out,  a few bulbs at a time (to spread the cost out?)

We use a lot of energy -- I like having lights on in our home, particularly in the winter.  We still use a clothes dryer, a lot, and a dishwasher, a lot, so it's not all lighting, but we have used 29kwh in January and 25 kWh in February.  I have been trying to use fewer lights.

I'm also sure we have some unused bulbs (incandescent and CFL) on hand.  Should I just donate those?

Thanks,
KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 06:21:36 AM »
I presume you are using 25-29kWh per day, right?  If it is monthly, you are doing quite well, but simply more average if it is a daily usage.  c.f.-In 2012, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,837 kWh, an average of 903 kilowatthours (kWh) per month. Louisiana had the highest annual consumption at 15,046 kWh and Maine the lowest at 6,367 kWh.  http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3

Each American uses about 4,500 kWh per year in their home.  This is about six times that of the global average per capita, or more than five times the average for those who have electricity access.
Read more at http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/average-household-electricity-consumption#Mw6GmRdqQFILCxDB.99

I think you would probably decrease your energy usage more by changing your practices ("I like having lights on in our home, particularly in the winter.  We still use a clothes dryer, a lot, and a dishwasher, a lot, so it's not all lighting"), rather than buying LED lights. 

My wife and I are home mostly during the day and we use under 3kWh per day and use cfl lighting, hvac, dishwasher, washer and dryer, sewing machines, electronics and tv, and 2 sump pumps. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2014, 06:45:53 AM »
I wouldn't change CFLs to LEDs and expect a savings. The payback would be 5+ years.

A good LED will have much better CRI than a CFL, but the efficiency gain is about 10%. You have much lower hanging fruit to pick on that front.

KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2014, 06:46:58 AM »
Right, we have 25 - 29 kWh per day.  I am not sure how to decrease it that much.  Dryer, dishwasher and lights are nice!  I have looked over the thread about energy usage but I am not sure how to get our use down that much.

LEDs seemed like an easy way to cut down at least a few Kwh/day.    How are you getting so low?


KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 06:47:49 AM »
Oh my gosh Goblin, you're in Milwaukee!  Howdy neighbor!

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2014, 07:04:11 AM »
Right, we have 25 - 29 kWh per day.  I am not sure how to decrease it that much.  Dryer, dishwasher and lights are nice!  I have looked over the thread about energy usage but I am not sure how to get our use down that much.

LEDs seemed like an easy way to cut down at least a few Kwh/day.    How are you getting so low?

Our household (2 adults, 2 pets) averages 8-9 kwh per day here in MA. We line dry laundry indoors in the winter (and in the summer if it's not humid.) We have a energy star dishwasher that we installed a few years ago, but our fridge is just a economy priced one we got about 5 years ago for our first apartment and took with us. And we make sure to open up the curtains and blinds in the rooms that we're in to let in natural light. (Maybe rearrange some of your living space so you're spending the most time in the rooms with the most natural light?) The lights that I keep on in the evenings are all CFLs, including front porch and backyard. The rest are still incandescents, but they're never on for very long, if ever. And we have a smart power strip for the TV and its peripherals that shuts everything off if the TV isn't on. Hope that helps!

KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2014, 07:12:19 AM »
Is your router / computer stuff always on?


Thegoblinchief

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2014, 07:14:52 AM »
Oh my gosh Goblin, you're in Milwaukee!  Howdy neighbor!

Howdy!

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2014, 07:47:27 AM »
LEDs seemed like an easy way to cut down at least a few Kwh/day.    How are you getting so low?
Switching from a 12W CFL to an 8W LED will only save about 1kWH per month if they were run 24 hours a day.  If you have incandescents, you should switch them to LED, but you won't see much benefit from switching CFL's to LED's.

I used a 'kill-a-watt' meter to measure all different things in my house and found that my old spare refrigerator (2.3kwh/day) and my entertainment center (4kwh/day) were my biggest electricity goblins.

Do you have electric heat?
Electric water heater?
Old refrigerator?
DVR or computers running constantly?

I think you would probably decrease your energy usage more by changing your practices ("I like having lights on in our home, particularly in the winter.  We still use a clothes dryer, a lot, and a dishwasher, a lot, so it's not all lighting"), rather than buying LED lights.
I agree, shutting things off is really the best way to save energy.  Change your habits and you will see bigger gains.  Open the curtains during the day instead of turning on lights.  Turn things off when you leave the room.  Don't leave the fridge door open.  Turn down the heat and air conditioner.  Use ceiling fans to make the house more comfortable, instead of the thermostat.  Upgrade appliances that aren't energy efficient.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2014, 07:48:19 AM »
I pulled up my latest electric bill for reference, and I'm average 21kwh a day. No dishwasher, no dryer, all LED lights. Small house (740sqft). I think it's mainly our computers and fridge that get us. I still need to get my Kill-A-Watt out and start inventorying.

Also, I work in the lighting industry, so I'd be happy to answer questions about LEDs, but in the OPs case I don't think they make sense except as a replacement as the CFLs die.

starbuck

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2014, 08:04:53 AM »
Is your router / computer stuff always on?

Our modem/router and airport extreme are always on, yea. We both have laptops, and when I work from home it's also via laptop. We no longer have desktops PCs. If I'm not using my laptop I shut it and it goes to sleep, mostly because I don't want my cat sending any emails.

In looking over the data I got from national grid this morning, our usage spikes a bit in the summer, because of the dehumidifier and window fans. But our monthly average over the year is 260 kwh. Here in MA the cost of electricity has gone up about 30% over the last year. I logged into my account because I thought we were using a lot more electricity than usual, but that's not the case. Each kwh is just more expensive! So I think if you change your habits now it will pay off quite a bit.

aj_yooper

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2014, 09:57:36 AM »
Right, we have 25 - 29 kWh per day.  I am not sure how to decrease it that much.  Dryer, dishwasher and lights are nice!  I have looked over the thread about energy usage but I am not sure how to get our use down that much.

LEDs seemed like an easy way to cut down at least a few Kwh/day.    How are you getting so low?

Energy star appliances, refrigerator/freezer combination not all filled up, gas hot water heater, gas cooktop, electric oven, high efficiency hvac, south facing home with french doors on north side of main living area, double pane windows, lap top and iPad, modem and wireless always on, scrupulous about turning off lights, tv, etc., humidity sensor on dryer, power strip for sewing machines and tv on a power strip, all cfl s except some track lights in sewing room.  House is 2500 square feet on a crawl space with 2 mostly stay at home people.  My wife does love to bake which ups the usage in some months and we find using our fireplace ups the electricity usage too so we are backing off on that pleasure.  Thermostat at 62 at night and when we are not in the house; otherwise set at 68.  Full loads on dishwasher and washer.  In IL our electricity comes mostly from nuclear and coal so it bothers me to use up all those electrons.  I think we are pretty lucky with our current usages. 

Hope you can improve your usage!

KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2014, 10:21:38 AM »
OK, I am going to check every light bulb in the house to see what is regular vs. CFL.  :)

-->Chandelier - 5 incandescent flame-type bulbs  (OK to switch these to LEDs?)
-->I'm finding several incandescents  - 7 so far. Should I replace these all, now?   (I guess they are about $10 each?  Maybe I will get a couple LEDs to try out this weekend and go from there. 

Our appliances should be mostly energy star, let me check:

Fridge -- from 2002, Kitchenaid  it says verified for energy performance, and the logo is CSA. 

Dishwasher -- a Bocsh and it has an eco button.  I don't know if it 's energy star, but I don't want to replace.  $$$$

Microwave -- I don't know -- from 2002 and it was a speed cook, but that feature is broken.  We are getting a new microwave soon.  Although maybe we don't need a micro.  Do micros save energy v. cooking?  We will probably keep a micro,  don't know if we need Advantium speed cook (we had this before)

Washer --  old but it runs like a champ.   Would replacing a good old washer save much energy?

Washers manufactured before 1998 are significantly less efficient than newer models. Together, these inefficient washers cost consumers $2.8 billion each year in energy and water.

Our washer is an old top loader that was made in 1999.  Water savings is not a huge concern (we live where there is a lot of water). 

Dryer -- old -- do they make more energy efficient clothes dryers?  But I"m going to start hanging laundry, right?  How long does it takes clothing to air dry?  In Wisconsin?

Look at this from the Energy star web site.
Residential clothes dryers are significant energy users. According to the Energy Information Agency, they account for over 4% of total residential energy use in the U.S.


I do laundry all. the. time. 

Despite being a significant energy user, the efficiency of clothes dryers sold has traditionally not varied appreciably. This has begun to change as new clothes dryer technology, such as heat pumps, have been introduced in some markets, including Europe. The Agency�s preliminary estimates dryers that reduce energy use by 10-13% relative to a conventional model would save approximately 93 GWh and 73,000 MBtu of natural gas, annually, assuming that these dryers account for 25% of the market. And that down the line, highly efficient clothes dryers could reduce CO2 emissions by at least 30% when compared with standard electric models.

Sounds expensive.

Extra freezer.
We do not have an extra freezer.  I am thinking of getting one, or maybe an extra fridge/freezer that is Energy Star.  I have 3 boys that will be teenagers one day.  For now we don't need the freezer/extra fridge yet.  Trying to wait until we really need it.




KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2014, 10:25:05 AM »
I pulled up my latest electric bill for reference, and I'm average 21kwh a day. No dishwasher, no dryer, all LED lights. Small house (740sqft). I think it's mainly our computers and fridge that get us. I still need to get my Kill-A-Watt out and start inventorying.

Also, I work in the lighting industry, so I'd be happy to answer questions about LEDs, but in the OPs case I don't think they make sense except as a replacement as the CFLs die.

Dude, you're not that much lower than us.  Hmm.  I am curious if LED will really save over the incandescents if i switch them all out???  $$$$$ 

I'll do a little at a time.  Need to find the lights we use the most with the incandescents to switch out.

aj_yooper

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2014, 10:42:33 AM »
KBecks,

At what temperatures do you set the furnace  and AC?  Is your house well insulated and are you save the heat/air conscious?  Do your soon to be teenagers shop a lot in the fridge? 

I'd say no to a second refrigerator.  Big energy users, especially if put in a garage.  Use the eco mode on your dishwasher.  Your research supports a new washer?  Maybe less laundry?  Skip the LEDs for now and put a kill a watt on the culprits:  refrigerator, washer, tvs. 

KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2014, 10:51:34 AM »
We keep our home at 70, although I am trying 68 here and there.  I am often cold at home.  Need sweaters, sweatshirts, more muscle or something.

I am looking into insulating our electrical outlets and doing things like that to improve energy use.  One little step at a time.



FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2014, 03:33:51 PM »
I am curious if LED will really save over the incandescents if i switch them all out???  $$$$$
Here is an estimate based on using the light for 3 hours per day and paying 15 cents per kwh.

(8W LED bulb) x (3 hours per day) x (365 days) x ($0.15 per kwh) / 1000 = $1.31 per year

(12W CFL bulb) x (3 hours per day) x (365 days) x ($0.15 per kwh) / 1000 = $1.97 per year

(60W incandescent bulb) x (3 hours per day) x (365 days) x ($0.15 per kwh) / 1000 = $9.86 per year

Gimesalot

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2014, 03:50:31 PM »
Some ideas:

Use "No heat" dry on your dishwasher.  This works just as well and can save some energy.

Are you sure your clothes aren't drying for too long?  Most of our stuff takes 20 to 25 minutes.  Jean and towels are the exception.  Run the dryer for 25 minutes, take out the dry stuff, leave the other stuff in for 10 minutes.  Everything should be dry by then.  We went from 60 minutes to 35 minutes. 40% savings.

If you have an electric hot water heater, install a timer, if you want to be fancy, or do it by hand if you have gas.  Get everyone on a similar shower schedule, mornings, for example.  Then, turn the hot water hear on 30 minutes before you all shower.  After you are all done, turn it onto really cold.  Repeat. 

Look into a "time of use plan."  Some areas of the country try to shift energy use to off-peak hours.

Close off rooms in the summer and winter.  Close the register so the are not heated or cooled.  Also, for the winter try electric blankets.  They keep you warm and use less energy than heating the whole house. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2014, 05:52:16 PM »
I line dry in WI and almost everything is dry within 24 hours. I use a box fan to push air a little and speed things up.

MayDay

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2014, 06:13:15 PM »
I am reading this with interest. Our bills have been crazy lately (125$/month) and that's with all gas appliances except fridge of course.

I just checked and the last three months we averaged 30.7 kWh per day. That's 2 adults, 2 kids. we have no cfl's as I hate them, and we hardly have lights on in the summer anyway, so I figure in the winter they help heat the house.

We borrowed a kill-a-watt from fil today, and are going to get the tv on a strip. I think our main culprit is the treadmill- dh uses it for an hour every day. I am trying to convince him to walk outside but he likes to watch movies when he walks.

aj_yooper

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2014, 06:37:09 PM »
Electric mattress pads are also good.

KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2014, 05:44:27 AM »
OK, I ordered 5 LED lightbulbs to try and see how we like them, and some supplies to insulate our electrical outlets on exterior walls (crack sealer foam and foam plates that go behind the outlet covers.

I read about turning down our water heater temperature.  Then I read about Legionnaires disease, but we have a gas water heater and it seems that it's pretty rare with gas heaters.

Getting a new washer and dryer does not seem quite worth it.

The average U.S. household spends approximately $2,200 per year on energy -- nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling, according to Energy Star and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Of the rest, about 14 percent goes to heating water, 12 percent to lighting and only 13 percent for appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers.

Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/do-energy-efficient-appliances-add-up-1.aspx#ixzz2wDfrhPVh
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SweetLife

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2014, 06:00:23 AM »
I pulled up my latest electric bill for reference, and I'm average 21kwh a day. No dishwasher, no dryer, all LED lights. Small house (740sqft). I think it's mainly our computers and fridge that get us. I still need to get my Kill-A-Watt out and start inventorying.

Also, I work in the lighting industry, so I'd be happy to answer questions about LEDs, but in the OPs case I don't think they make sense except as a replacement as the CFLs die.

Thegoblinchief ... I had heard that LED lights have mercury so more difficult to dispose of and possibly not particularly safe ... any other types of lighting that we could use to save KW? 

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2014, 06:23:02 AM »

Thegoblinchief ... I had heard that LED lights have mercury so more difficult to dispose of and possibly not particularly safe ... any other types of lighting that we could use to save KW?

No!  It's the CFL's that have some mercury in them, although recent advances in production have dropped the level of mercury to about 5mg/bulb. Most cities have a recycling program for CFL's.
LED's are mercury free and are slightly more energy efficient than CFL's, so when you ignore their high initial cost they are the "best choice," environmentally speaking.  They also last 8-12x longer than CFLs, depending on brand.

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2014, 06:24:09 AM »

Thegoblinchief ... I had heard that LED lights have mercury so more difficult to dispose of and possibly not particularly safe ... any other types of lighting that we could use to save KW?

CFL bulbs have mercury, in reality its such a tiny amount one bulb isn't going to do anything....tiny as in, the same amount you might see in fish.  They should be disposed of properly, not just thrown in the garbage.

LED's on the other hand have NO mercury.  But hey do contain electronics components that may include lead and other heavy metals.  They should be disposed of as you would any other electronic, not just thrown in the garbage.

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2014, 07:01:18 AM »

LED's on the other hand have NO mercury.  But hey do contain electronics components that may include lead and other heavy metals.  They should be disposed of as you would any other electronic, not just thrown in the garbage.

good point - but I'm wondering, who around here has had to actually dispose of an LED yet?  25,000+ hours/bulb, and from what I've read they'll last a lot longer than that; it's just that the testing hasn't gone on long enough to know how long a LED will go before it burns out. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2014, 07:08:08 AM »

LED's on the other hand have NO mercury.  But hey do contain electronics components that may include lead and other heavy metals.  They should be disposed of as you would any other electronic, not just thrown in the garbage.

good point - but I'm wondering, who around here has had to actually dispose of an LED yet?  25,000+ hours/bulb, and from what I've read they'll last a lot longer than that; it's just that the testing hasn't gone on long enough to know how long a LED will go before it burns out. 

You haven't seen all the early failures I have. One bad solder point can have a bulb fail in a month or less. When LEDs were first marketed, they were 100,000 hours. Then they were 50, 40, and now 25.

Get one with at least a 5 year warranty. My favorite all-around bulb is the Cree 9.5w (60w A19 replacement) from Home Depot. $14, and a 10 year warranty

Gimesalot

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2014, 08:16:47 AM »
I read about turning down our water heater temperature.  Then I read about Legionnaires disease, but we have a gas water heater and it seems that it's pretty rare with gas heaters.

Based on information from the CDC, only 18,000 people a year are hospitalized with Legionnaires disease in the the US.  That is approximately 0.005% of the population.  As a comparison, 79,000 people were hospitalized with the flu last season.  All recommendations, for the prevention of Legionnaires disease, on the CDC page are regarding the proper use and disinfection of hot tubs.  Also, keep in mind that the water in the hot water heater is chlorinated to prevent the growth of bacteria.

If you are worried about getting sick, turn the heater low during the day, then high when you bathe.  That way the bacteria are killed. 

KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2014, 08:20:21 AM »
Water Heater adventures

I went into the basement to look at our water heater -  it does not feel hot to the touch, and has an energy saver sticker that says it costs $172/year to operate (this assumes a certain gas price that I am sure has gone up).

The dial does not have temperatures -- doh!  It has several settings --  HOT -- WARM -- VACATION.   Now which one of those is 120 degrees?  I don't know.

It is set to warm.  It is also very dusty.  Interesting basement stuff.

We will definitely turn it down when we go on vacations now. 
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 08:21:54 AM by KBecks »

KBecks

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2014, 08:24:21 AM »
Opening up the curtains and letting daylight in works very well in all rooms --- except the kitchen -- it is a dark, dark, cave.

There is only one small, north facing window, otherwise, it's smack in the middle of our house.  I spend a lot of time here. 

Maybe this room needs the LEDS.  Our ceiling fan is broken and set in "on" I cannot turn it off.  I have asked DH to fix it and he is reluctant.  Bah.

nereo

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2014, 08:27:01 AM »
failures I have. One bad solder point can have a bulb fail in a month or less. When LEDs were first marketed, they were 100,000 hours. Then they were 50, 40, and now 25.

Get one with at least a 5 year warranty. My favorite all-around bulb is the Cree 9.5w (60w A19 replacement) from Home Depot. $14, and a 10 year warranty
Interesting point.  I guess I've just been lucky and haven't had one fail yet - maybe the manufacturing it getting better?  Agree that the Cree A19s are quite good; I replaced two bulbs in our house with these and never mentioned it to my fiancée (forgot to, wasn't trying to hide it or anything).  Later she started talking about how her problem with the LEDs was that she didn't like the light they gave off.  She pointed to to the two that I had replaced and said "I just find these to be so much easier to read with than those other bulbs."  We had a good laugh later that she had chosen the LEDs over the incandescent bulbs without realizing it.


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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2014, 08:41:44 AM »

Utilitech:  avoid, avoid, avoid.

Between me and a friend of ours, we've had multiple CF and LED failures with this brand.  It's extremely common (and relatively inexpensive) in the big box stores. 

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2014, 11:22:04 AM »
Opening up the curtains and letting daylight in works very well in all rooms --- except the kitchen -- it is a dark, dark, cave.

There is only one small, north facing window, otherwise, it's smack in the middle of our house.  I spend a lot of time here. 

Maybe this room needs the LEDS.  Our ceiling fan is broken and set in "on" I cannot turn it off.  I have asked DH to fix it and he is reluctant.  Bah.
In the kitchen, does light get blocked by any trees or shrubs outside the window?  I recently removed a tree that was too close to my house and it made a world of difference in how much natural light my living room gets.

The dial does not have temperatures -- doh!  It has several settings --  HOT -- WARM -- VACATION.   Now which one of those is 120 degrees?  I don't know.
If you have a thermometer, you can check the temperature right at your kitchen sink.  Also think about how you use hot water.  Can you wash clothes on just the cold cycle?  Can you switch the showerhead and sink faucet to a lower flow model.  When cleaning dishes, you can use less water if you put the stopper in and fill it up, instead of running the faucet the whole time.


aj_yooper

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2014, 11:29:24 AM »
Opening up the curtains and letting daylight in works very well in all rooms --- except the kitchen -- it is a dark, dark, cave.

There is only one small, north facing window, otherwise, it's smack in the middle of our house.  I spend a lot of time here. 

Maybe this room needs the LEDS.  Our ceiling fan is broken and set in "on" I cannot turn it off.  I have asked DH to fix it and he is reluctant.  Bah.

Consider getting a handyman to put in a new fan with a light, maybe your first LED.  Have DH help with the fix, if possible.  Or,  turn off the power (*at the electrical panel )to the fan and install a new one (with a light) yourself. 

Can you lighten up the paint in the kitchen?  That will help.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 02:35:30 PM by aj_yooper »

ZiziPB

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2014, 12:14:38 PM »
If you have a gas water heater and gas heat in the house they have minimal impact on your electric bill.  Lowering the temps will have a positive impact on your gas bill though ;-)

You said that you do laundry all the time - why?  Read this: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/12/30/are-you-cleaning-out-your-own-wallet/

For what it's worth, my electric usage for the last year varied from 12.9 kWh per day to 25.12 kWh per day (with the low being during temperate, high light months (spring/fall so barely any lights on, no AC and no fireplace) and the high being in July (AC use)).  I have an electric water heater, gas heat and gas cooktop/oven.  I use my electric clothes dryer but I only do 2-3 loads per week.  I run the dishwasher 2-3 times per week (when full) and am vigilant about not leaving lights on if not really needed.

mark_saver

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2014, 06:31:13 PM »
On lights, it seems wasteful to replace bulbs that aren't worn out, so we are going to LED as the CFLs burn out.

We don't replace appliances until they wear out.

We've been waiting for some BR30 CFLs to burn out, they are in the kitchen and are on the most hours in the day compared to most of the rest of our lights. The previous brand that I used seemed to burn out a lot faster, this brand is hanging on for years now. The good thing is that LED bulbs are slowly coming down in price, especially the good BR30 bulbs that are quite expensive.

I did order some A19 LED bulbs from Home Depot last time they had a sale and will use them in various places around the house as soon as they arrive. The best thing about LED bulbs is that they are pretty much "lifetime" bulbs in most cases.

liberty53

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2014, 08:14:15 PM »

Utilitech:  avoid, avoid, avoid.

Between me and a friend of ours, we've had multiple CF and LED failures with this brand.  It's extremely common (and relatively inexpensive) in the big box stores.

Put a whole bunch of R30 Utilitech floods in the cans in our 4BR colonial (about 40 bulbs total) and so far I have had only a few bulbs fail out of the box (infant failures). My electric bill is down about 40%. The Utilitechs' were on clearance at about $8/bulb, otherwise would have never considered it.

I'm wondering if your failures were infant failures or happened after operating the bulbs for a while?

So far I'm really loving the bulbs and the lower bill.

Spork

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2014, 08:10:17 AM »

Utilitech:  avoid, avoid, avoid.

Between me and a friend of ours, we've had multiple CF and LED failures with this brand.  It's extremely common (and relatively inexpensive) in the big box stores.

Put a whole bunch of R30 Utilitech floods in the cans in our 4BR colonial (about 40 bulbs total) and so far I have had only a few bulbs fail out of the box (infant failures). My electric bill is down about 40%. The Utilitechs' were on clearance at about $8/bulb, otherwise would have never considered it.

I'm wondering if your failures were infant failures or happened after operating the bulbs for a while?

So far I'm really loving the bulbs and the lower bill.

Mine happened at about 2 months.  And they were expensive BR40 bulbs.  At the failure rate I had, it would have been cheaper to run incandescents.    A friend put in quite a few Utilitech LEDs and had about half fail in a couple of months.

Catbert

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2014, 12:26:40 PM »
As  I understand it, CFLs don't do well when they are turned on relatively frequently for short periods of time.  As long as you have incandescent bulbs use them in closets and other locations where lights are on for short periods.

 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2014, 03:27:59 PM »
I had a Utilitech bulb fail at about the 1 year mark. Plus, durability notwithstanding, the others I've tested professionally are garbage compared to the vast majority of competition.

wortdog

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2014, 03:31:26 PM »
I had two out of five Utilitechs fail within the first couple months.  Would not buy again.

The Home Depot EcoSmart bulbs have been great though.

Cromacster

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2014, 10:35:20 AM »
I had two out of five Utilitechs fail within the first couple months.  Would not buy again.

The Home Depot EcoSmart bulbs have been great though.

I've been running 8 Ecosmart w/cree technology (as it says on the box).  They have been great since I installed them in early December 2013.

Hamster

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Re: Will switching to LED light bulbs save money? How to switch?
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2014, 10:26:38 PM »
I had a Utilitech bulb fail at about the 1 year mark. Plus, durability notwithstanding, the others I've tested professionally are garbage compared to the vast majority of competition.
Uh-oh, with the way things have been going lately, maybe MMM's next cease and desist letter will come from Utilitech :-)